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Anna Maria Barry

Anna Maria Barry is a Research Assistant at the Royal College of Music Museum. She has recently submitted a PhD on male opera singers of the nineteenth century. This interdisciplinary research builds upon her academic background in nineteenth-century literature and art history, considering representations of singers in autobiographies, novels and portraits. She is especially interested in music and celebrity culture, and has also worked on the relationship between singers and the Navy during the Napoleonic Wars.  Anna has published on operatic autobiographies of the nineteenth century, and is currently working on a series of forthcoming articles, chapters and edited collections on topics as diverse as naval music, operatic fiction, musical portraiture and jazz autobiography. A project on opera and material culture is also being developed. As well as speaking frequently at academic conferences, Anna has also delivered public lectures – most recently giving a talk on Amy Winehouse at the Jewish Museum in London. 

Before joining the Royal College of Music, Anna worked as a Lecturer at Oxford Brookes University, where she was based in the OBERTO Opera Research Unit. She also works as a freelance journalist, contributing regularly to publications including BBC Music Magazine, BBC History Magazine and Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine. In 2016 Anna curated two exhibitions. Sir Charles Santley: A Victorian Celebrity was held at Liverpool Central Library and Opera in the East End was held at Queen Mary, University of London.

Selected publications

Barry A M (monograph in development), Home-grown Heroes: Male Opera Singers in Nineteenth-Century Britain.

Barry A M (forthcoming), Charles Incledon: a singing sailor on the Georgian stage, in A M Barry, J Begiato & M Brown (eds.), Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century, Manchester University Press.

Barry A M (forthcoming), Lady sings the blues? Tragedy, autobiography and reassessment, in J. McKee & M Perez (eds.), Billie 101: A Hundred and One Years of Lady Day, McFarland Press.

Barry A M (forthcoming), An opera singer’s gothic fiction: the autobiographies of Sims Reeves, in C Wiley & P Watt (eds.), Musical Biography: Ideology, Narrative and Myth, publisher to be confirmed.

Barry A M, Begiato J & Brown M (eds.) (forthcoming), Military Masculinities in the Long Nineteenth Century, Manchester University Press.

Barry A M (2018, July), Operatic portraiture: creating and contesting identity in nineteenth-century Britain, paper to be presented at the 18th International Conference of the Association Répertoire International d’Iconographie Musicale, Canterbury Christ Church University.

Barry A M (2018, June), Scoring the women’s suffrage movement at the Royal College of Music, paper to be presented at the Centennial Reflections on Women’s Suffrage and the Arts, University of Surrey.

Barry A M (2017), The Dream of a Madman: Constructing the Male Opera Singer in Nineteenth-Century Britain (doctoral dissertation), Oxford Brookes University.

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Faculties / departments: Research

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For enquires please contact:

Anna Maria Barry

Museum Research Assistant

0207 591 4742